Trade unions go on strike today, may hit essential services

| Updated: Sep 02, 2016 14:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept. 2 (ANI): The Central Trade Unions (CTU) have called for a strike across the country on Friday to express their disagreement with the Central Government's "unilateral labour reforms and anti-worker policies". The unions have claimed that this year's strike will be bigger as the number of striking workers is expected to swell as much as 18 crore, larger than last year when around 14 crore workers participated. Gurudas Das Gupta General Secreatary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said, "Most important is control of inflation, particularly the food inflation, social security for the unorganised labour, minimum wage for all unorganised should be Rs. 18,000, road is an investment for profit making public sector, low margin of banks etc are the main demand on which we are going on strike." Essential services such as banking, public transport and telecom will be affected by the strike. The CTUs will strike work protesting against what they call the government's apathy towards their 12-point charter of demands including a monthly minimum wage of Rs. 18,000, controlling price rise and assured minimum monthly pension of Rs. 3,000. However, Indian Railways and other central government employees will not participate in strike as government has already constituted a committee to look into their demand of raising monthly minimum wage from Rs 18,000 to about Rs. 26,000 under the 7th Pay Commission. Resonating similar sentiments, Roman Pandey of Indian National Trade Union Congress told ANI that they are against the handing over of defence and railway industry to the private players. "We want that ILO conventional 87, 98 needs to be ratified because this gives protection of job security and social security to working people and they have the right to join union of their choice, they can go for collective bargaining. These global rights are being denied by the government. wherever the assured in Geneva in ILO that we are going to ratify, we are fighting for that," he added. The Bhartiya Majdoor Sangh (BMS) has decided not to participate in strike. "We gave the notice to the government, but when the government took the step forward then we decided to withdraw from the strike. The effect of strike is not visible, as the entire rail system is working. They have tried a lot to mislead the people but that phase is over, now no one from Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh will be part of this strike," BMS organising secretary Pawan Kumar told ANI. Last year also on September 2, the union has opted out of the strike at the last moment. (ANI)